The effect of the even start early childhood program upon elementary school student achievement, attendance, grade progression, special education placement and disciplinary referrals
The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not students who have participated in an Even Start early childhood program had higher academic achievement and attendance rates and lower incidents of grade retention, special education placement and disciplinary referrals during the elementary school years than their non-participating peers. Research has provided mixed results regarding early intervention programs. In this study, Even Start participants were compared to similar English language learners within a central Texas school district. The research questions examined whether Even Start participants demonstrated higher levels of academic achievement, better attendance rates and lower incidents of grade retention, special education placement and referral for serious disciplinary incidents than their non-participating peers. Initially twelve years of data were to be examined, but only four years of measurable data were available, which reduced the scope of this study. Overall, results indicated a positive effect on student achievement and attendance rate. No significant effect was found regarding grade retention, special education placement or discipline referral. Sample size, access to student records only through grade three and the age of the students studied were limitations to this study.